Voices Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, emerge from St Mary's with their newborn son

Compared to the grind of US politics, our Royal family offers a burst of romance

Bronze age: How the sun tan became a standard summer accessory

The sun tan. Fake or natural, it has always caused a stir. Once a sign of poverty and vulgarity it is now the preserve of the rich and famous.

Falstaff, Glyndebourne Festival, Sussex<br/>The Abduction from the Seraglio, Grand Theatre, Leeds

Verdi's comic opera is set in a post-war Britain where food is plentiful and love can conquer the scheming of a fat knight

Palace investigating security breach

Buckingham Palace said today it was investigating a report that undercover journalists were able to enter the Queen's London residence and sit in her car after bribing a royal chauffeur.



Lady Butler of Saffron Walden: Second wife of Rab Butler, 'the best Prime Minister we never had'

Mollie Butler was the second wife of the highly distinguished "wet" Tory politician of the 1950s and early 1960s, Richard Austin Butler, known to all as "Rab". Mollie was, understandably, his staunchest supporter and never forgave Harold Macmillan for allowing Alec Douglas-Home, instead of her "beloved Rab", to succeed him in 1963 as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative party. Lady Longford was to describe him, somewhat gushingly, as "the best Prime Minister we never had".

In the frame for a sale: spare-time snappers focus on the cyber galleries

Got a good eye for a picture? Alessia Horwich on the sites where you can showcase your work

Campaigners lose fight against fire station cuts

Campaigners acting with the backing of celebrities and the tacit support of the Royal family today lost a High Court battle over the partial closure of Windsor Fire Station.

Holy smoke! Can grey be glam?

Why the ashen hue is the hot trend of 2009

&#163;32m needed to repair Britain's royal palaces

Auditor's office warns of increasing damage to national assets

Palace worker denies being BNP member

A worker in the Queen's household whose name appears on a list of British National Party members has denied being involved in the far-right party, Buckingham Palace said today.

Wall stories: The funny and often beautiful world of graffiti

There's a vast conversation going on, and it's happening right now in a street near you. Some of it is funny, some of it is strangely beautiful, some of it is downright disturbing. Paul Vallely has seen the writing on the wall

The Traveller's Guide To: English castles

England's rich array of castles offer visitors a superb opportunity to see the country's history up close and personal. Harriet O'Brien takes a journey into the past

Paperbacks: Sport, by Tim Harris

It is intriguing to speculate if the 2012 Olympics will repeat the innovation introduced in the London games of 1908 when the marathon was extended to 26 miles 385 yards so the Royal family could watch the start from the Windsor Castle nursery windows. Even those indifferent to the lure of sport will find surprising diversion in Harris's prodigious exploration of sporting quirks and oddities.

Drowne buoyant again after wave of Ascot success

Only racing would castigate a man as too reliable; only racing, equally, would redeem him in such capricious fashion. Steve Drowne went to Royal Ascot last week still smarting after being replaced on Clowance in the Oaks, less than a fortnight previously. And the horse most likely to restore his morale and standing, Sakhee's Secret, proceeded to finish 17th of 17 in the last Group One of the week, the Golden Jubilee Stakes on Saturday. In the meantime, however, Drowne had ridden three winners, a feat surpassed only by Johnny Murtagh. They started at 100-1, 28-1 and 12-1 respectively; only one of Murtagh's winners, in contrast, was bigger than 7-4.

Brown ready to rain on Bush parade with Iraq troop pull-out

Gordon Brown is ready to override the misgivings of George Bush by going ahead with a major announcement on British troop withdrawals from Iraq. The US President will sit down to talks with Mr Brown today after their dinner at Downing Street last night sparked anti-Bush protests in Parliament Square.

Best readies Kingsgate Native for sprint crown

The flying wizards from Oz will once again be at Royal Ascot, with Takeover Target, winner of the King's Stand Stakes two years ago, leading the raid on Tuesday's opening-day sprint feature. The globetrotting nine-year-old gelding showed himself as good as ever in Singapore last month with a narrow defeat of compatriot Magnus, who will again oppose next week.

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Monkey business: Serkis is the king of the non-human character performance
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Arts and Entertainment
Blackman: Landscape of children’s literature does not reflect the cultural diversity of young people
booksMalorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
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Voices
Mrs Brown's Boy: D'Movie has been a huge commercial success
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Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
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Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?